The sum of investment (I) can be calculated considering the initial investment cost (C) with interest and the number of operating years (n). On the other hand, payback period calculations can be so quick and easy that they’re overly simplistic. For example, if you add in the economic lives of the two machines, you could get a very different answer if the equipment lives differ by several years.

Analysts search for a reliable method of determining if a project or an investment will be profitable. A number of methods for capital budgeting take the Time Value of Money (TVM) into account. It is basically a concept that money is more valuable at the present than in the future. To calculate the payback period, divide the amount of money invested by the expected annual return. These capital projects start with a capital budget, which defines the project’s initial investment and its anticipated annual cash flows. The budget includes a calculation to show the estimated payback period, with the assumption that the project produces the expected cash flows each year.

This is because inflation over those 6 years will have decreased the value of the dollar. No such discount is allocated for in the payback period calculation. This means that it will actually take Jimmy longer than 6 years to get back his original investment. Initially the project involves a cash outflow, arising from the original investment of £500,000 and some project losses in Year 1 of £50,000. PBP is defined by calculating the time needed (usually expressed in years) to recover an investment.

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It does not take into account the time value of money or the expected rate of return. To incorporate these metrics, it is better to employ other methods, such as DCF (Discounted Cash Flow), NPV (Net Present Value) and IRR (Internal Rate of Return). Previously we mentioned that companies look for the shortest payback periods. This is so the money is not tied up for too long and management can reinvest it elsewhere, perhaps in additional equipment that will generate more profit.

Assume Company A invests $1 million in a project that is expected to save the company $250,000 each year. If we divide $1 million by $250,000, we arrive at a payback period of four years for this investment. The following table shows the expected cash flows from investment proposals A and B.

The payback period also facilitates side-by-side analysis of two competing projects. If one has a longer payback period than the other, it might not be the better option. That is why shorter payback periods are almost always preferred over longer ones. The faster the company can receive its cash, the more acceptable the investment becomes.

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- When the cumulative cash flow becomes positive, this is your payback year.
- The payback period with the shortest payback time is generally regarded as the best one.
- The table indicates that the real payback period is located somewhere between Year 4 and Year 5.
- For example, if it takes five years to recover the cost of an investment, the payback period is five years.

Her expertise is in personal finance and investing, and real estate. Payback is used measured in terms of years and months, though any period could be used depending on the life of the project (e.g. weeks, months). Payback period tells us how long it takes to get back our capex from revenues/profits. NPV discounts future revenues and expenditure to reflect the fact that we care less about our money in the future than we do about our money now, and also inflation/interest rates on money.

## Payback Period (PBP)

Perhaps other machines need to be shut down for extended periods in order to allow this new machine to produce. Or maybe there’s something else going on at the plant that prevents it from functioning properly. Where c is the capital cost ($), s is the saving ($) during the first year of the solar dryer, d is the interest rate on long-term investments, and i is the https://1investing.in/ inflation rate. Knowing the values of the required parameters such as C and D, a diagram, as shown in Fig. 8.9, can be made to calculate the payback period, referring to different known values of r, m, i, and e. However, if the values of the parameters are different from the values mentioned in the diagram, one then needs to estimate the payback time using Eqs.

## Payback Period

For the purposes of calculating the payback period formula, you can assume that the net cash inflow is the same each year. The definition of the payback period for capital budgeting purposes is straightforward. The payback period represents the number of years it takes to pay back the initial investment of a capital project from the cash flows that the project produces.

## Advantages and disadvantages of payback period

For example, a compact fluorescent light bulb may be described as having a payback period of a certain number of years or operating hours, assuming certain costs. Here, the return to the investment consists of reduced operating costs. The decision rule using the payback period is to minimize the time taken for the return on investment.

A shorter payback period means the investment will be ‘repaid’ fairly shortly, in other words, the cost of that investment will quickly be recovered by the cash flow that investment will generate. This formula can only be used to calculate the soonest payback period; that is, the first period after which the investment has paid for itself. If the cumulative cash flow drops to a negative value some time after it has reached a positive value, thereby changing the payback period, this formula can’t be applied. This formula ignores values that arise after the payback period has been reached. Whilst the time value of money can be rectified by applying a weighted average cost of capital discount, it is generally agreed that this tool for investment decisions should not be used in isolation.

## Company

Investments with longer payback periods are most risky than ones with shorter periods because there is no way to know how the future will pan out. A manager is more likely to purchase a machine that should pay for it self in 6 months, than something that will tie up company funds for 3 years. A shorter payback period reduces the company risk of inaccurate future projections of investment cash flow. If cash inflows from the project are even, then the payback period is calculated by taking the initial investment cost divided by the annual cash inflow.

Suppose, a company invests one million US dollars in a project which, most probably, can save 250,000 USD for the company every year. But the company earns an return of 100,000 USD every year for the coming twenty years, i.e. two million US dollars. We divide 200,000 USD by 100,000 USD to arrive at a two year PayBack period. Say, Kapoor Enterprises is considering investments A and B each requiring an investment of Rs 20 Lakhs today and cash flows at the end of each of the following 5 years. Let’s evaluate how much time does it take to get this initial investment of Rs 20 Lakhs back in each of the projects.

This method is summarized below, following the reference (Böer, 1978). The PBP is the time that elapses from the start of the project A, to the breakeven point E, where the rising part of the curve passes the zero cash position line. The PBP thus measures the time required for the cumulative project investment and other expenditure to be balanced by the cumulative income. You can calculate the payback period by accumulating the net cash flow from the the initial negative cash outflow, until the cumulative cash flow is a positive number.